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27 August 2005

Design for Quality - Melbourne Airshow

In a presentation a few weeks ago we were introduced to Doug Gadd, one of the project managers for the Melbourne International Airshow. He ran through the processes he went through to ensure his part of the job (facilities) was done properly.

A couple of points he raised is the unique characteristics of project managing events - such as the fixed deadline, and the lack of control you have while the event is actually running. I noted that there are other issues as well such as the importance of engaging stakeholders in the community.

Doug's main points he made in his presentation were about the importance of planning, remaining vigilant for problems and empowering the team members to get things done.
This article on managing people is quite interesting. It compares the importance of technical skills to interpersonal skills within the project management environment. It talks breaks interpersonal skills into 3 groups:
  • Soft skills
  • Personal commitment, and
  • Values
Soft skills are defined as communication, expectations and relationships, and the article discusses how these affect our ability to get things done effectively in a project. For example the meanings of words and the importance of seeing the context around an issue are discussed. A similar approach is taken to the other aspects of interpersonal skills.
Given the challenges around getting specifications right and managing stakeholders expectations this seems to me to be right on the money.